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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Crunchy Caramel Corn Puffs

Crunchy Caramel Corn Puffs shatter and melt in your mouth and make it necessary to have just one more, or maybe two or three more handfuls to satisfy that crunchy, sweet and salty flavour that you crave for in a treat.  These tasty little morsels will be perfect to serve at family celebrations or on Canada Day as I plan to do.

I really like popcorn but it doesn't like me.  I'm picking corn hulls and kernels from my teeth for days. (Yes, I floss!) I've even had a slight infection (I know, too much information) because a corn hull had lodged itself deep inside the gum-line. But I still like popcorn.  

I also like corn puffs.  I've been known to demolish a bag in record time.  They just sort of melt in the mouth and are gone so fast I've just got to have another mouthful. You see, I get the popcorn flavour without the bother of the corn getting stuck in my teeth.  Of course, popcorn, if one must choose between the two, is the healthier choice.  Fortunately, I don't buy or eat corn puffs very often. 

I also like caramel corn but that also has the bother of the nasty corn hulls.  But, if I eat caramel corn puffs that takes care of the trouble.  I can buy these at the store, of course, but I ran across a  recipe on the back of the "Old Dutch Popcorn Twists" package for caramel corn which looked quite easy. And homemade is usually much better than store-bought.  I bought a bag so I could try them out but promptly ate most of them before I could get around to making the recipe...sigh... I was going to buy more but I found "krack-O-pop" corn puffs at Rossy stores and bought those instead.  They come in a smaller bag so I had to buy two bags to make up the difference.  The "krack-O-pop" brand has larger puffs which actually look more like popcorn.  I liked that idea and hence I made my Crunchy Caramel Corn Puffs from that brand.  

I found I could use an extra cup or so of the "krack-O-pop" brand because they are larger and don't have as much surface area as the smaller "Old Dutch" brand.  Also the "Old Dutch" is saltier than the "krack-O-pop" brand which in my opinion is not a drawback, at all. I also cut the butter down a bit as I thought the 1 cup made the corn a tad too greasy.  Even half the butter works well.  

I just can't stop eating these things.  I've had to put them in a bag and put the bag in a container.  And I put the container on a high shelf. I'm making it as difficult as possible to get at these things. They are so good.....

Caramel Corn Puffs
¾ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
175 gram bag corn puffs (or about 12-14 cups of the "krack-O-pop" brand)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Place corn puffs in large roaster.  You don't have to grease the roaster as there is plenty of butter in the recipe to compensate.

Over medium heat in 2 litre/quart pan, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes the butter, sugar and corn syrup, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon or heat-resistant silicone spatula. Add the teaspoon baking soda and stir and cook until foam subsides about 1 more minute.  

Pour the caramel mixture over corn puffs and stir until evenly coated.  Do not be tempted to use your hands!  The mixture is scalding hot and will give you 3rd degree burns.  

Bake at 250 degrees 45 minutes-1 hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes. I baked mine for 1 hour because they were still slightly chewy after 45 minutes.  Turn the baked corn puffs out on a large sheet of waxed or parchment paper to cool.  Break up any large clumps. When cool, eat immediately or store in an airtight container for several days.

Makes 12-14 cups.

 Spread the corn puffs in a large roaster.

Prepare the cooling area by spreading out a large sheet of waxed or parchment paper.

Melt the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup together over medium heat.  Use a 2 litre/quart pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue cooking for 2 minutes.  Stir in 1 teaspoon baking soda and stir about 1 more minute until the bubbling subsides a little.  Use a wooden spoon or heat-resistant silicone spatula.  

Pour the hot mixture over the corn puffs that you have placed in the roaster.

Stir until the corn puffs are evenly covered.  
Do not use your hands for this as the caramel is scalding hot.

Place the caramel coated corn puffs in the preheated 250 degree oven for 45-60 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes.  When finished baking the caramel coating should be crisp and shattery. Test a few pieces by placing them in the freezer for a few minutes.

Scrape the mixture onto the prepared waxed or parchment paper.

Spread the caramel coated puffed corn out into a single layer.  As it cools break apart any large clumps that may have formed.  

Once the corn puffs have cooled, place them in a serving bowl and dig in.  You may also store the puffs in an airtight container for a few days. 

Crunchy Caramel Corn Puffs make for good nibbling at family celebrations.  I'll be serving these on Canada Day.  

Crunchy, shattery, sweet and salty in every bite.  And not a corn hull in sight. Did I mention these are moreish?  If I didn't I should have. 

Getting ready for Canada's 150th birthday celebrations.  

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